Selling a Boat on EBay

I don’t know what it is about trying to sell a jet boat in my town. Maybe the market is just saturated with jet boats or everyone already owns one. When my daughter was born, I decided that jet boating was no longer in my future and put the boat up for sale. For several years, I had tried selling my boat locally with no luck.

Each time I advertised it, it cost over $50 in the local boat trader magazine or the local newspaper. Each time I advertised it, zero to maybe two people would call but none ever showed up. I tried parking it alongside a popular road with a “for sale” sign attached and was rewarded with a $70 parking ticket. Every year, the tax man hit me with a “luxury” tax. The expenses were adding up and the boat was taking up valuable garage space.

Trouble was, this was a nice boat with very low hours and a good asking price. I had dropped the price from about $5000 down to under $3000. If only I could get someone to actually look at it, it would sell. I heard that you could sell cars and boats on eBay but had my doubts. Who would travel more than a few hours to buy a jet boat and who would pay large fees to transport it across country? But I had tried the local market with absolutely no luck, eBay was worth a shot.

I was already registered as a seller so setting up the boat sale was simple. I went to the eBay Motors section and followed the instructions for selling a vehicle. This area isn’t just for cars, you can sell boats, motorcycles, jet skis, trailers and more here. They have categories for various boats so I clicked through until I found the jet boat category, then filled in the details such as year, make, model, engine type, fuel capacity and hull number.

Next I entered the description just as I would any other eBay auction, offering details about the jet boat, any flaws (the only flaw was that the radio was stuck on one station and basically sucked), and explained why I was selling it. I uploaded photos and scans from the brochure and started the bidding at $1000. I set the reserve price at $2700 which is what I had been asking for locally. My upfront listing fees were $48, comparable to the advertising I had been running. If the boat were to sell, I understood there’d be another sales fee of $40. Unlike regular auctions, this is a flat fee rather than a scale based on sales price. I knew if the boat did sell, I’d be thrilled to pay another $40.

Within hours of the listing, email questions from bidders started to hit my inbox. I emailed information about the jet boat back and forth with about five different interested parties. The bids started rolling in. Bids soon soared past my reserve price and I knew the boat would sell. Turns out the boat sold for over $4000 to a man who lived over eight hours away from me. He paid me a large deposit right away into my PayPal account and drove down that weekend with cash in hand. The boat was everything he had been looking for and in even better shape than he expected. He hitched it up to his truck and headed home. He emailed me afterward telling me how much he loves his new jet boat.

Selling the jet boat on eBay was the way to go, I didn’t have to field any phone calls or wait around for lookie-loos to no show me. Answering questions by email was easy and helped to establish credibility with the bidders. By the time the final bid came in, the bidder had never actually seen the boat but was confident in its condition. The whole process was smooth and easy. I wish I would’ve done it earlier.

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